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Big Butterfly Count (July/August)

Monday 20 July

Big Butterfly Count Logo

‘The big butterfly count is a nationwide survey aimed at helping us assess the health of our environment. It was launched in 2010 and has rapidly become the world’s biggest survey of butterflies. Over 100,000 people took part in 2019 – see results page here the biggest count since the survey began! 2019 was the year of the Painted Lady.

How to take part

Simply count butterflies for 15 minutes during bright (preferably sunny) weather during the big butterfly count. We have chosen this time of year because most butterflies are at the adult stage of their lifecycle, so more likely to be seen. Records are welcome from anywhere: from parks, school grounds and gardens, to fields and forests.

If you are counting from a fixed position in your garden, count the maximum number of each species that you can see at a single time. For example, if you see three Red Admirals together on a buddleia bush then record it as 3, but if you only see one at a time then record it as 1 (even if you saw one on several occasions) – this is so that you don’t count the same butterfly more than once . If you are doing your count on a walk, then simply total up the number of each butterfly species that you see during the 15 minutes.

Download our handy identification chart to help you work out which butterflies you have seen.

You can submit separate records for different dates at the same place, and for different places that you visit. Remember that your count is useful even if you do not see any butterflies or moths.

You can send in your sightings online at www.bigbutterflycount.org or by using our FREE big butterfly count smartphone apps available for iOS and Android.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept any counts sent in on paper or by email, text or phone. The website will be open to receive records throughout July and August.’